Adbusters

Buy Nothing Day Confronts the Economic Meltdown

Press release: "Now in its 17th year, Buy Nothing Day is celebrated every November by environmentalists, social activists and concerned citizens in over 65 countries around the world..."

Event organizers around the world are getting ready to send a message about the perils of overconsumption. This year Buy Nothing Day is more important than ever.

Adbusters' BND 2008 Press Release:

BUY NOTHING DAY ORGANIZERS
CONFRONT THE ECONOMIC MELTDOWN HEAD ON

Now in its 17th year, Buy Nothing Day is celebrated every November by environmentalists, social activists and concerned citizens in over 65 countries around the world. Over the years, Buy Nothing Day (followed by Buy Nothing Christmas) has exploded into a global movement, inspiring the world’s citizens to live more simply and buy a whole lot less.

Designed to coincide with Black Friday (which this year falls on Friday, November 28) in the United States, and the unofficial start of the international holiday shopping season (Saturday, November 29), the festival takes many shapes, from relaxed family outings, to free, non-commercial street parties, to politically charged public protests, credit-card cut-ups and pranks and shenanigans of all kinds. Anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending.

Featured by such media giants as CNN, USA Today, MSNBC, Wired, the BBC, The Age and the CBC, Buy Nothing Day has gained momentum in recent years as the climate crisis has driven people to seek out greener alternatives to unrestrained consumption.

This year, Buy Nothing Day organizers are confronting the economic meltdown head-on – asking citizens, policy makers and pundits to examine our economic crisis.

"If you dig a little past the surface you'll see that this financial meltdown is not about liquidity, toxic derivatives or unregulated markets, it's really about culture," says the co-founder of Adbusters Media Foundation, Kalle Lasn. "It's our culture of excess and meaningless consumption — the glorified spending and borrowing of the past decade that's at the root of the crisis we now find ourselves in."

Economic meltdown, together with the ecological crisis of climate change could be the beginning of a major global cultural shift — the dawn of a new age: the age of Post-Materialism.

"A simpler, pared-down lifestyle – one in which we're not drowning in debt – may well be the answer to this crisis we're in," says Lasn. "Living within our means will also make us happier and healthier than we’ve been in years."

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Do what you can to spread the the BND message this year. Blog it, up-vote it on Digg, or slap a poster on a wall. This could be the breakthrough year when the heavy consumers of the world finally get it.

Warm regards,

The Adbusters Team

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82 comments on the article “Buy Nothing Day Confronts the Economic Meltdown”

Displaying 31 - 40 of 82

Page 4 of 9

Anonymous

It always amazes me that a society can or needs to have the opportunity to promote a Buy Nothing Day. It's a sad commentary on our emotional needs to get our fix by purchasing something everyday. What's even more amazing is that we only react when we have an assigned day to do it. Is there anyone out there who thinks and acts on their own?

Anonymous

It always amazes me that a society can or needs to have the opportunity to promote a Buy Nothing Day. It's a sad commentary on our emotional needs to get our fix by purchasing something everyday. What's even more amazing is that we only react when we have an assigned day to do it. Is there anyone out there who thinks and acts on their own?

disconnected

Buy nothing day is awesome however successful or unsuccessful it can be. It is more of a personal challenge to smear in the face of those who want to listen.
However, its turning out to be quite the buy nothing christmas too. Plus lots of buy nothing DAYS.
So far, the tree is looking scant. And its a hypothetical tree too.
Im not complaining. I think a buy nothing christmas is long overdue, and not only because the ecomomy is going to shit, but because id rather just enjoy christmas dinner with my family than worry about x amount of things i need to buy.
Family is cool with this idea.
pass it on.
buy nothing christmas
and theres nothing bahumbug about it!

-disconnected

disconnected

Buy nothing day is awesome however successful or unsuccessful it can be. It is more of a personal challenge to smear in the face of those who want to listen.
However, its turning out to be quite the buy nothing christmas too. Plus lots of buy nothing DAYS.
So far, the tree is looking scant. And its a hypothetical tree too.
Im not complaining. I think a buy nothing christmas is long overdue, and not only because the ecomomy is going to shit, but because id rather just enjoy christmas dinner with my family than worry about x amount of things i need to buy.
Family is cool with this idea.
pass it on.
buy nothing christmas
and theres nothing bahumbug about it!

-disconnected

Matthew Webb

Dear Staff at AdBusters,
See my, “Buy Nothing 30-Seconds” suggestion below;

You know, for years now I’ve been thinking about your project. When you go on-line to your website there, it LOOKS like a good idea at first glance, (and the idea IS good). If there was ever a need for a serious review and revision of the modern world, it is within the context you promote….a criticism of consumerism and the world-destroying results of that paradigm. Or should I say, “the context you SEEM to promote”?

Upon reading to a greater depth into your articles, whose tone I agree with, the reader comes away with a sense of disappointment. I said, “seem to promote” because really, there IS NO MEANINGFUL DEPTH to your articles. Every single article I’ve read there misses the truly essential points, ones that would give substance and meaning to your mission. Instead of focusing so much on individual companies, why don’t you ever just come right out and say that, “participation in consumerism AT ALL is a horrible waste of life and limb?” Why do you always beat around the bush criticizing the acts of specific corporations or persons, and instead criticize the WRONG VALUES of consumerism itself, i.e., greed and egotism? Where is your advocacy for a meaningful philosophy or set of values that would replace greed and egotism? I know the answer…you don’t really have one, and that’s pathetic.

A perfect case-in-point is your yearly, so-called and much-touted, “Buy Nothing Day”. So let me get this straight…one day a year, you advocate to your readership a single day of not buying anything, (why not advocate practicality and efficiency as a lifestyle?). Gee, a whole day?...really, I mean a whole 24 hours of non-participation in consumerism, for every 364 days of rampant gluttony and Romanesque waste? Wow, now there’s a social movement with some real iron…it must have taken extraordinary self discipline to even come up with an idea like that, let alone ask others to do it too!

So what exactly is it you think you’re accomplishing with this, “Buy Nothing Day”? What’s to keep anyone from buying double on the day before or the day after, rendering the whole thing totally meaningless, instead of just almost totally meaningless? Please, get serious people! This is just an exercise in mediocrity, as is the majority of the material on your website…it lacks teeth, it lacks meaning…it’s just a joke! What…do you imagine this is generating some kind of PR in the mind of the public, causing them to “rethink” their wasted consumer lives? Nice try…you’re going to have to do better then that.

So if you’re going to invest yourselves in mediocrity without any real intention of creating meaningful social change, I have a suggestion for you. Why not go all the way with a, “Buy Nothing-30 seconds”? Just think, you could advocate something like this for EVERY DAY and get 365 times the publicity! Let’s see, what would be perfectly meaningless….yes, from 5AM every day, (from 5 AM sharp to 5AM and 30 seconds past the hour) you could have your little, “Buy Nothing 30 Seconds” every day, and no harm done! You could still go about being mindless consumers, give lip service to DAILY self discipline and meaningful action, and not have to give up your hypocritical lifestyle! What a deal…even better than the, “Buy Nothing Day”!

Think about it.

It becomes clear why you never bothered to answer any of my previous letters, (which used to praise you for your activities, before I learned better). It’s also clear why you never replied on your own forum, (when you had one) to my posts asking you questions. It’s because you lack the sincerity to make a REAL difference in the world. I ask you…why not get a REAL platform for social change by actually taking a meaningful stand on consumerism, and instead of laying blame for this entropic world where it only partly belongs, (with the corporations)…lay it at the feet of every consumer! Lay it at the feet of EVERYONE who participates, and point out that greed and egotism are NOT a viable basis for a culture to stand on! Advocate the rejection of a society gone mad, not just certain products! Please, I beg you…get serious about your own cause.

Thank you for considering this,
Matthew Webb [email protected]
The World Mind Society

Matthew Webb

Dear Staff at AdBusters,
See my, “Buy Nothing 30-Seconds” suggestion below;

You know, for years now I’ve been thinking about your project. When you go on-line to your website there, it LOOKS like a good idea at first glance, (and the idea IS good). If there was ever a need for a serious review and revision of the modern world, it is within the context you promote….a criticism of consumerism and the world-destroying results of that paradigm. Or should I say, “the context you SEEM to promote”?

Upon reading to a greater depth into your articles, whose tone I agree with, the reader comes away with a sense of disappointment. I said, “seem to promote” because really, there IS NO MEANINGFUL DEPTH to your articles. Every single article I’ve read there misses the truly essential points, ones that would give substance and meaning to your mission. Instead of focusing so much on individual companies, why don’t you ever just come right out and say that, “participation in consumerism AT ALL is a horrible waste of life and limb?” Why do you always beat around the bush criticizing the acts of specific corporations or persons, and instead criticize the WRONG VALUES of consumerism itself, i.e., greed and egotism? Where is your advocacy for a meaningful philosophy or set of values that would replace greed and egotism? I know the answer…you don’t really have one, and that’s pathetic.

A perfect case-in-point is your yearly, so-called and much-touted, “Buy Nothing Day”. So let me get this straight…one day a year, you advocate to your readership a single day of not buying anything, (why not advocate practicality and efficiency as a lifestyle?). Gee, a whole day?...really, I mean a whole 24 hours of non-participation in consumerism, for every 364 days of rampant gluttony and Romanesque waste? Wow, now there’s a social movement with some real iron…it must have taken extraordinary self discipline to even come up with an idea like that, let alone ask others to do it too!

So what exactly is it you think you’re accomplishing with this, “Buy Nothing Day”? What’s to keep anyone from buying double on the day before or the day after, rendering the whole thing totally meaningless, instead of just almost totally meaningless? Please, get serious people! This is just an exercise in mediocrity, as is the majority of the material on your website…it lacks teeth, it lacks meaning…it’s just a joke! What…do you imagine this is generating some kind of PR in the mind of the public, causing them to “rethink” their wasted consumer lives? Nice try…you’re going to have to do better then that.

So if you’re going to invest yourselves in mediocrity without any real intention of creating meaningful social change, I have a suggestion for you. Why not go all the way with a, “Buy Nothing-30 seconds”? Just think, you could advocate something like this for EVERY DAY and get 365 times the publicity! Let’s see, what would be perfectly meaningless….yes, from 5AM every day, (from 5 AM sharp to 5AM and 30 seconds past the hour) you could have your little, “Buy Nothing 30 Seconds” every day, and no harm done! You could still go about being mindless consumers, give lip service to DAILY self discipline and meaningful action, and not have to give up your hypocritical lifestyle! What a deal…even better than the, “Buy Nothing Day”!

Think about it.

It becomes clear why you never bothered to answer any of my previous letters, (which used to praise you for your activities, before I learned better). It’s also clear why you never replied on your own forum, (when you had one) to my posts asking you questions. It’s because you lack the sincerity to make a REAL difference in the world. I ask you…why not get a REAL platform for social change by actually taking a meaningful stand on consumerism, and instead of laying blame for this entropic world where it only partly belongs, (with the corporations)…lay it at the feet of every consumer! Lay it at the feet of EVERYONE who participates, and point out that greed and egotism are NOT a viable basis for a culture to stand on! Advocate the rejection of a society gone mad, not just certain products! Please, I beg you…get serious about your own cause.

Thank you for considering this,
Matthew Webb [email protected]
The World Mind Society

Alan

Why Black Friday? Considering it is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, can there really be a significant effect from a select group of people not buying anything? If 10 million people bought nothing on Black Friday, wouldn't the things that 10 million other people buy in addition to their every day purchases offset the impact? I suggest moving Buy Nothing Day to some ho-hum day like a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday in August.

Alan

Why Black Friday? Considering it is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, can there really be a significant effect from a select group of people not buying anything? If 10 million people bought nothing on Black Friday, wouldn't the things that 10 million other people buy in addition to their every day purchases offset the impact? I suggest moving Buy Nothing Day to some ho-hum day like a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday in August.

mary

Buy nothing day is on Black Friday because that is the day that represents over-consumerism. It is the day with the most potential to get the attention of other consumers as well as corporations. We only hope to get a message across that perhaps people don't need to buy so much stuff. perhaps they don't need to stampede into a Walmart at five am and kill a guy just to get all those items for ten dollars less... My husband and I went out protesting with signs that also promoted a buy nothing christmas. This means giving gift that are homemade and the like. You don't need to buy a gift to give a gift. Buy nothing day is only part of the movement. I see it as a stepping stone to further activism. If I can get someone to pay attention and think about what they are doing by participating in BND and protesting then at least I am raising awareness. I don't expect each person to walk by and say " ya know your right! why am I buying stuff?!" that is unrealistic. Before you bash BND perhaps you should try participating and protesting. I understand you may have problems with Adbusters and their approach to BND, but there are people who believe in what they are doing and don't just "buy nothing" but actually protest consumerism. If you are looking for something a little less hypocritical you should watch "What would Jesus Buy". you can watch it for free on google movies.

mary

Buy nothing day is on Black Friday because that is the day that represents over-consumerism. It is the day with the most potential to get the attention of other consumers as well as corporations. We only hope to get a message across that perhaps people don't need to buy so much stuff. perhaps they don't need to stampede into a Walmart at five am and kill a guy just to get all those items for ten dollars less... My husband and I went out protesting with signs that also promoted a buy nothing christmas. This means giving gift that are homemade and the like. You don't need to buy a gift to give a gift. Buy nothing day is only part of the movement. I see it as a stepping stone to further activism. If I can get someone to pay attention and think about what they are doing by participating in BND and protesting then at least I am raising awareness. I don't expect each person to walk by and say " ya know your right! why am I buying stuff?!" that is unrealistic. Before you bash BND perhaps you should try participating and protesting. I understand you may have problems with Adbusters and their approach to BND, but there are people who believe in what they are doing and don't just "buy nothing" but actually protest consumerism. If you are looking for something a little less hypocritical you should watch "What would Jesus Buy". you can watch it for free on google movies.

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